Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages
Page 1 of 13 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 254
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,998

    Default Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    There are hundreds of variations of hive designs proposed over the years. I'm going to attempt to describe these designs in terms of common design and use features. From this information, a beekeeper can make choices of hive type and management required.

    Skep type hives, box hives, clay tube hives, and bee gums (chunk of hollow log with top and bottom added) all share the same basic structure and method of management. Bees are housed in a cavity with enough room for brood and surplus honey. These type hives are labor intensive for harvesting honey but relatively low maintenance otherwise. Skeps are harvested by removing the bees either by driving them from the skep or by killing them with sulfur. Box hives and bee gums can be opened from the top and honey harvested from above the cross-sticks. Clay tube hives as used in Egypt are harvested by opening the back of the hive and cutting out combs of honey. These type hives are least common denominator in terms of cost to build and operate. They are commonly used in subsistence agriculture. It is difficult to achieve significant honey production with these type hives.

    Top bar hives are oriented horizontally so the bees will make moveable combs. The first truly moveable comb hive was arguably the Greek inverted cone straw hive which is a moveable frame type hive with topbars from which combs are built. This hive dates back a few thousand years and counts as the first moveable comb hive. The defining characteristic of top bar hives is that the combs can't be extracted. They have support only from the top bar and don't stand up very well to being spun for extraction. Top bar hives can be made from wood, half a 55 gallon drum, plastic containers, or other available materials. Honey is collected by cutting combs from topbars, squeezing, and straining. The primary advantage of topbar hives is that hives can be split, inspected, re-queened, etc. The disadvantages revolve around primitive methods of harvesting honey.

    Box hives with frames are the next general category. These hives are usually oriented horizontally and do not have separate boxes for honey storage. Box hives are a step up from top bar hives because the frames can be extracted. These type hives are relatively labor intensive because the beekeeper has to be there to remove frames full of honey, extract, then return the frames to the hive to be re-filled. The Layens hive common in Spain and various horizontal frame hives such as are used in large parts of Russia and Ukraine are examples of this type. These hives have all the advantages of modern hives but are relatively labor intensive for honey collection and require more management by the beekeeper.

    Frame hives with separate honey storage are industry standard. These hives are exemplified by Langstroth and modified Dadant designs. One or more boxes is dedicated for brood and winter stores while more boxes are used for surplus honey. Moveable frames with bee space are used throughout. The advantages include ease of splitting, re-queening, producing queens, collecting honey, etc. The disadvantages are primarily that common hive designs are inherently flawed but because they are standard and widely used, there is no incentive to change. Langstroth hives have a flaw that one box does not provide enough brood space for a prolific queen. Dadant hives have room for a prolific queen but are very heavy when full. British Nationals are even more confining than Langstroths. Frame spacing varies from 31 to 40 mm center to center with 35 being most common. The most important disadvantage is that these hives are relatively expensive compared to the others. This precludes use in many 3rd world economies.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,768

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    >It is difficult to achieve significant honey production with these type hives.

    One of the most profitable and productive beekeepers in American History was using simple box hives (no frames) and set against using any of the "patent" hives. Moses Quinby would completely disagree with your assessment. He produced a lot of honey, a lot of queens and made a lot of money at it.
    http://astore.amazon.com/thepracbeek...ail/1435744691

    Nicol Jacobi would also disagree. He was doing the same back in 1578 when he wrote about grafting queens and doing walk away splits and keeping bees in boxes with no frames.
    http://astore.amazon.com/thepracbeek...ail/1614762570
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Deep Brook, NS, Canada
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Michael Bush: -
    Quinby and Jacobi just affirmed what I was already beginning to figure out: - that the bees will make the most of almost any shelter available. You could probably raise them in old tires and they would do OK. When I started, I decided to go with Langstroth hives, but looking back, I can see that whatever system I chose would be because of a perceived advantage for me. The bees could care less.
    I want bees that make up for my mistakes.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,998

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    whatever system I chose would be because of a perceived advantage for me
    Putting bees into a small box that limits their ability to expand would still be a problem. Otherwise, I agree that so long as the box is big enough, the rest of it is based on management convenience for the beekeeper.

    Moses Quinby would completely disagree with your assessment.
    I wrote that with full knowledge that Quinby flooded the market with comb honey using box hives. My statement was intended to highlight per hive averages. Would you argue that keeping bees in boxes is more productive than in a moveable frame hive where they can be manipulated to become more productive?

    Did anyone else notice that I did not mention the Warre hive above? Where would it fit?
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,768

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    >Would you argue that keeping bees in boxes is more productive than in a moveable frame hive where they can be manipulated to become more productive?

    I don't live in a place where it is a choice, so I have not considered it too much, but have been intrigued by Quinby's view that it IS more productive. He held that you can't make money in beekeeping if you spend it all on equipment.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,998

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    you can't make money in beekeeping if you spend it all on equipment.
    I would add, "You can't make money in beekeeping if you spend it all on labor." There has to be a point somewhere in the middle where cost of equipment and cost of labor are at a minimum so profit can be realized.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Catskills, NY
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Just when I think that someone's done enough research to finally start drawing up some conclusions, someone comes in and provides an argument (nonetheless viable) to scratch the conclusions right off the board.. The thing that I hate and love about beekeeping.

    I haven't read that book, but can someone who has tell me how he produced so much honey? Is it just by the shear amount of hives he had? I'd imagine it set him back quite a bit to have to wait for his bees to build out all the comb every year before they can start packing it with honey. I think Mike answered Fusion's statement in that it IS possible to produce a lot of honey with box hives...if you have a million of them.

    Was there any research done with sister colonies kept in different styles of boxes?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,998

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    ABK, if you follow the argument above, you will note that Quinby's honey production was labor intensive. He made the argument that you couldn't make money if you spent it all on equipment. He lived in a day and time when labor was cheap and equipment expensive. I countered with the argument that you can't make money if you spend it all on labor. We live in a time when labor is expensive and equipment relatively cheap. This is a pendulum that - if pushed too far one way or the other - takes the profit out of beekeeping. There are plenty of beekeepers who spend huge amounts of money on equipment but do not recover the cost in honey or other hive products sold.

    I put in nearly a year studying hive types and their advantages and disadvantages to figure out why my beekeeping efforts consume so much time and are relatively unprofitable. That does not mean I didn't make some money, it means that it was not as profitable as I wanted it to be. The problem I had was using relatively large amounts of equipment and spending way too much time managing the bees as a result. I want to reduce the management requirements as much as possible while still producing a profitable amount of honey.

    Quinby was producing and selling comb honey. The best quality comb honey is from freshly drawn combs. He made money by giving the bees room to draw combs and then cutting out and selling the comb honey. He made up in volume for whatever inefficiencies came as a result of the primitive hives.

    Quinby designed a hive and frame that were later adapted and adopted by Dadant. The Dadant hive was not exactly an original Dadant invention, it was derived from Quinby's work.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,699

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Frame hives with separate honey storage are industry standard.
    Are there still some states that don't require removable frames for inspection? Quinby may have lucked out in that regard.

    Nice summary, Dar - thanks!
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,768

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    >I haven't read that book, but can someone who has tell me how he produced so much honey? Is it just by the shear amount of hives he had?

    He was a very good beekeeper.

    >Are there still some states that don't require removable frames for inspection?

    Still? No. At one time (in Quinby's lifetime) they all did. Now a few have just wiped the books on apiary laws and have no restrictions.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Catskills, NY
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Fusion, since you've done so much research on all these different hive designs, could you say why you concluded the layens design is labor intensive for honey collection and requires more management? I listened to Dr. Leo Sharashkin's speech on the Layens and he is a large proponent on this design, with one of the greatest stated advantages of it being the minimal maintenance required. He presented it as though the hive was designed and commonly used by beekeepers who visit it once in the spring and once in the fall. I see how honey collection may be tricky using a lang deep honey extractor, but surely there must be an extractor that fits these hugely deep frames? I'm seeing a lot of advantages to this hive design that make a lot of sense. Of course I have to mention that I'm not a commercial beek and have no intention on transporting my hives. But the strong insulation of the hives, their ability to expand with the broodnest horizontally, and allow for up to 16 inches of uninterrupted vertical comb seems like a great advantage over the lang deep design that requires the bees to move up every 9 inches or so to reach the super above.

    I'm all ears

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,998

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    You can purchase an extractor from Swienty that will handle Layens frames. It will be expensive. You are correct that there are advantages in terms of the bees and their needs, especially as compared with Langstroth equipment. The difficulty comes with overall size of the hive. The stated design capacity is @6400 cubic inches of volume as compared with two Langstroth boxes which are about 6000 cubic inches. The problem is that a strong colony will completely fill up two Langstroth boxes and typically needs 2 times - or more - that much honey storage space. The way this is managed in Spain is to pull frames of honey as they are capped, extract them, then return the frames to the colony to be refilled. This infers many more visits to the hive than "once in the spring and once in the fall". Read through his site carefully and you will see that he recommends making it larger if your area will support more honey collection. Let's say you double the size of each hive giving equivalent of 4 Langstroth deeps in capacity. Now you have a hive that is way too large for a wintering colony and no easy way to reduce the volume. You could make follower boards, but that would separate the combs in one side from the bees in the other leaving the combs unprotected and open to wax moth and hive beetle damage. Layens' design is not amenable to adding a super on top such as with Langstroth or Dadant equipment, in fact, adding a super would eliminate most of the advantages of a horizontal hive. If you made the hives to a fixed size based on his dimensions, the bees will fill that volume and then swarm repeatedly. You would have to use foundationless frames with this hive, nobody on this side of the pond makes it that large. That means a huge amount of drone comb. Short summary, there is no flexibility with this hive type to add or remove honey storage space, an extractor will be expensive, and you will be forced into foundationless frames.

    Any hive design you choose will have deficiencies and represents a compromise between what the bees need and what the beekeeper needs. Honeybees are happy with any open cavity with from 2000 to 4000 cubic inches of open space and have very little preference for the shape of that cavity. Beekeepers need a hive small enough to lift, large enough to be cost efficient, easily expanded for honey storage, large enough for good wintering, and standard enough to be easily sold in the future.

    The insulation value of 1.5 inch thick pine is about R=2. You would be far better off to add a 3/4 inch thick sheet of polyisocyanurate with R value of 6 to get something high enough to be effective.


    He was a very good beekeeper.
    Quinby was an exceptionally good beekeeper, however, he could not hold a candle to a modern beekeeper using the right equipment and understanding bee behavior. Read through his writings carefully and there are dozens of small but significant mistakes such as using a hive too small for a prolific queen and insisting on small storage boxes for the honey crop. The way he made so much honey was from having so many colonies of bees. This means his labor costs were much too high by modern standards.
    Last edited by Fusion_power; 06-27-2016 at 12:25 PM.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  14. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,743

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post

    Quinby was an exceptionally good beekeeper, however, he could not hold a candle to a modern beekeeper using the right equipment and understanding bee behavior. Read through his writings carefully and there are dozens of small but significant mistakes such as using a hive too small for a prolific queen and insisting on small storage boxes for the honey crop. The way he made so much honey was from having so many colonies of bees. This means his labor costs were much too high by modern standards.
    I have snipped FP quote; I think that the same thing applies to most all the historical beekeepers. I think often isolated writings are quoted in discussions as being definitive proof of a concept in a present argument, when many of their other equally held beliefs could be called to question. Appeal to antiquity. No doubt many of todays authorities will be found similarly treated by history. The relative value of things change.
    Frank

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,640

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    ...Did anyone else notice that I did not mention the Warre hive above? Where would it fit?
    Not only Warre, you missed Perrone, Rose, Japanese, Slavic, Ukranian long, etc. I do not understand your point? Was it that bees can live in any suitable size cavity? The design of the "cavity" is heavily affected by purpose of beekeeping, convenience, particular cultural traditions etc.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,998

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Was it that bees can live in any suitable size cavity?
    Yes, this is precisely the point. Bees need a cavity of about 1500 to 6000 cubic inches volume for the brood nest. All other hive design characteristics are for the beekeeper. This means the beekeeper should look at resources available and method of management to determine the type hive to keep bees. A dirt poor farmer in Tanzania is not likely to be able to afford Langstroth equipment. He will use a top bar hive or a hollow log. A gentleman farmer in England will likely use British National because that is the most common hive in Britain. An American commercial beekeeper will most likely use Langstroth deeps because it is the standard here and it has a time proven management style.

    I'm particularly impressed with the Rose hive and associated method of management. I would not use Rose hives because I can see their inherent design flaws. Each box contains 12 frames with nominal comb space of 105 square inches per comb and requires 24 frames (in 2 boxes) for nominal wintering hive configuration. He got a huge amount of the design right, especially as compared with Langstroth hives. He missed that a single large brood chamber is more cost efficient and more efficient for queen laying than using multiple boxes. He also missed that there are a minimum of 24 frames to inspect to find a queen or otherwise go through a colony. By comparison, I am using square deep Dadant hives with 14 frames which gives nominal capacity almost identical to 2 Rose boxes but is more efficient for queen laying because there are fewer corners in the frames and there are only 14 frames to inspect for the queen. It is very important to me that the brood nest be easy to inspect as I intend to produce queens! If not for the desire to produce queens, I could easily have chosen the Rose hive design.

    Japanese garden hives are very similar to a frameless Warre. Ukrainian hives are very similar in function to Layens.

    Perone hives get a lot right, particularly the part about having a large hive for the bees and plenty of room to store honey. They are not a movable frame design and finding and managing the queen would be very difficult. If I were keeping bees under primitive conditions, the Perone hive would be a good candidate because it can be built and managed at low cost and with low technology tools.

    To give perspective, here are the reasons I chose to convert to Dadant square deep hives.

    1. There are only 14 frames to examine to find a queen, inspect, etc.
    2. All of the brood a prolific queen can produce will fit in one brood box
    3. It has enough room for wintering in one box
    4. It is designed to run a horizontal 2 queen system using a divider
    5. It reduces crowding effects so the bees are less likely to swarm
    6. The wide entrance improves ventilation
    7. The brood nest is more consolidated instead of being spread across multiple boxes of combs
    8. My extractor was made to handle this size comb, the frames will fit my existing system if I need to extract
    9. Easy to use to produce queens, just put a divider in place like a cloake board and have at it
    10. It allows me to re-use the shallow extracting frames I already have, just add square supers.
    11. It is highly efficient for space utilization
    12. It costs less for a complete working hive than most other movable frame stackable super designs
    13. It is much less likely to blow over in a strong wind
    14. Square modified Dadant hives can easily be palletized

    and here are the detriments
    1. A box full of honey will weight a bit over 100 pounds, not good for the back
    2. These are obviously not standard which is a detriment if I ever sell out
    3. Equipment is not normally available in the U.S., I have to custom build the frames and other hive components
    4. Splitting has to be done by moving frames instead of separating boxes.

    Compare the above 14 points carefully with the Rose hive and you will find that the Rose system falls short on 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 11 of the advantages but gains ground on items 1 and 4 of the detriments.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,640

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Hi Fusion Power
    Since you feel that large square frames are beneficial, would it be easier to keep them in horizontal arrangement (long hive) rather than vertical? Since I am amateur I designed my own beehive. It is a marriage of the old Lang and Perrone. Perrone, originally uses Lang dimensions. The distinguished feature of Perrone hive is the "grid." Essentially, what I did - I just cut grid on pieces (top-bars), so together they formed a grid-like structure. Each piece is essentially a top-bar. I use this top-bar system in vertical and horizontal designs with standard Lang's dimensions. There are "adapters" to use the standard frames when necessary. My system is designed for my own needs and is not convenient for large scale operation. To me, the advantage is that I can mix top-bars and regular frames in foundationless, frameless setup. Another convenience is that top-bars are universal and can be used with the box of any height.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Серёжа, Sergey

  18. #17

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    The best thing on a square modified Dadant hive is, it is adaptable. You use the follower board and the queen excluder right, and you will see magic happen. Magically the box explodes with bees, and fills up with honey.

    Of course there is no magic, but a lot of bee biology behind it.



    By shrinking or expanding the broodnest size to the queens ability to lay eggs, the broodnest ends up very compact. This has an interesting effect. Bees seem to get older. When it comes to population growth it certainly matters if the bees don't die so quickly. If there are more bees born than bees do die, than growth is exponential. And exponential growth really can surprise you.

    Never give more than 7 combs (Dadant mod. that is) per hive. It is our experience, that if you add an eighth frame, you end up with swarm fever. In a two queen hive setup, never give more than 3-4 combs per queen. Same thing, you give one more frame and they'll fill it with brood quickly ... and swarm.



    You can experiment yourself with this, add a comb here and there and compare.

    If your queen doesn't fill all the combs with brood, take away one comb. A lot of hives run on 5 frames only.

    Of course one could say: "why not using an 8-frame hive. You don't need all that space!"

    But there is more to it. At night and in bad weather all the foragers and drones and all, are clustering. In a normal hive, those bees cluster right under the broodnest, under the frames in a deep floor setup. If your floor isn't a deep floor, those bees cluster within the broodnest. Clustering in the broodnest is a bad thing.

    First old bees are nasty and do harass the queen. In those hives you often find the queen ducking against the queen excluder at nighttime, to move out of the way of the buggers. Drones are also annoying the worker bees in the broodnest.

    Secondly the hive climate really gets damp and short on oxygen, the more bees cramp into the broodnest.

    The solution is, to let the foragers and drones cluster somewhere else. A deep floor is good, so the cluster can hang under the broodnest. But the cluster on the side of the broodnest is even better, because there is no plug between broodnest and entrance. Lots of fresh air can reach the brood.

    In a modified Dadant with only 7 combs and a follower board, you'll find the cluster at the side of the broodnest, hanging down from the queen excluder. This picture was shot on a rainy day. You find the same at nighttime.



    The other thing of open space beside the broodnest is, you have a speedway right into the supers. Lots of foragers walk straight right up into the supers. Which accelerates the speed nectar is tucked away. Compared to other hive systems, the nectar is stored much more rapidly. That is part of the magic, how fast those supers get filled with honey.

    In an experiment you also find the following:



    The picture above was shot at Springtime with cold nights and all. You see the broodnest under this super has 5 frames. If you setup your honey combs parallel to the brood combs, those combs right above the broodnest are preferred for honey storage.

    Now see what happens, if you turn the honey combs 90 to the brood combs:



    This hive also have had only 5 brood frames. Both were the same strength. Interesting, right?

    So the idea is, set the honeycombs at an angle to the brood combs, which makes the bees climb up the brood combs and climbing right into the honey combs, having access to all honeycombs from there.

    When inspecting the hive, you turn the honey supers 180, so the tendency to store honey at the far end viewed from the entrance is evened. What you get is honeycombs with all honey of the same quality. Otherwise you have dry honey in the back of the super and wet honey in the front.

    Also evened storage means more honey per super.



    One last thing. Do use insulated follower boards. Of course this doesn't make the hive warmer or so. But: it is our experience, that the outer combs get less pollen and more healthy brood, when the facing wall is insulated. If that outer comb is too cold, the comb receives less brood, especially during Spring.

    Yes, you get best results when using insulated follower boards on both sides of the broodnest.



    We use hardened styrodur for this. It is styrofoam that was hardened by heat. Not toxic, can't get chewed by bees and insulates very well.

    Use shallow honey supers. Better for your back.

    It is good to have so much space inside the brood chamber. Use a divider board or two: Run 2 queen hives in them, make splits, all done with the same equipment. Use a double-frame-sized frame feeder. Enough space for all of it. Versatility counts.

    I tried a many hives. The modified Dadant hive is what produces the most of honey with the least of work. That is a fact. The square setup also allows manipulations as described in short above, that does magic.

    An old-timer used to say: Not the hive brings the honey, the bees do. That is right, but if you have the hive, that fits beeology best, the bees do better.

    The square modified Dadant not only adapts to the bee biology, it also allows the beekeeper to work more freely. Simply push frame aside and inspect. Not much pulling combs, just some sliding. Done. Saves your back, too.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Catskills, NY
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Very excellently presented arguments. I'm hoping others with as much experience that are proponents of different styles chime in.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,998

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Thanks Bernhard, hard won hands on experience is the best experience. I can see a dozen changes in the way I'm managing these hives already. I just got the first frames drawn over the last 3 months so I have not until now had the time and opportunity to study how the hives should be managed. I especially like the tip of turning the supers 90 degrees. This can't be done with rectangular designs like Langstroth. Looks like I just added another 4 items to the list of advantages for the square Dadant hive.

    15. Can turn the supers 90 degrees so the bees fill them evenly and mature the honey all at one time.
    16. Provides clustering space at night and in rainy weather
    17. Diverts foragers from the broodnest directly into the supers
    18. Can easily adjust the number of brood frames to fit the queen's ability

    I think it all finally clicked for me. I know why I started building these hives, it was based on technical reasons. Now I can see how they should work and will work. Now I have a dozen questions, but first, I need to get busy and make a few dozen follower boards. I've been so busy building the hives and frames that I haven't had time to make them.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,768

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    You are entitled to your opinions, of course. Here are mine.

    >1. There are only 14 frames to examine to find a queen, inspect, etc.
    Looking at more smaller increments makes the job of finding a queen easier, not harder. Having spend entire days looking for queens in both all deeps and all mediums, I would much rather find queens in mediums.

    >2. All of the brood a prolific queen can produce will fit in one brood box
    I don't understand why this is an advantage. It helps in what way?

    >3. It has enough room for wintering in one box
    I don't understand why this is an advantage. It helps in what way?

    >4. It is designed to run a horizontal 2 queen system using a divider
    I guess I'm not that interested in running two queen hives... but yes, I've used 19 7/8" square boxes for that and found them very inconvenient. Too many boxes to move to check on the brood nest.

    >5. It reduces crowding effects so the bees are less likely to swarm
    Adding boxes does the same as does opening the brood nest. I have my doubts that they are less likely to swarm just because it's all in one box...

    >6. The wide entrance improves ventilation
    Again, I disagree. My long term observation is that they ventilate better with one small entrance. They need control.

    >7. The brood nest is more consolidated instead of being spread across multiple boxes of combs
    The brood nest is always consolidated. If more room helps with swarming then the gaps between the boxes should help with cluster space...

    >8. My extractor was made to handle this size comb, the frames will fit my existing system if I need to extract
    Mine wasn't and won't.

    >9. Easy to use to produce queens, just put a divider in place like a cloake board and have at it
    I don't see that it's any easier. In fact how are you going to manipulate brood and bees when you have extra deep frames in the bottom and you want to get nurse bees up in the upper part?

    >10. It allows me to re-use the shallow extracting frames I already have, just add square supers.
    I can't lift them...

    >11. It is highly efficient for space utilization
    Meaning what? You mean volume/surface area? Then you want a dome or a sphere... I don't see the advantage.

    >12. It costs less for a complete working hive than most other movable frame stackable super designs
    If it were standard equipment, this would probably be true. But then I couldn't lift any of it...

    >13. It is much less likely to blow over in a strong wind
    Much? Maybe a little. 14 hives all up against each other dont' blow over in a strong wind either.

    >14. Square modified Dadant hives can easily be palletized
    As can any hive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

Page 1 of 13 12311 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •